Dear First Teacher Network,
We hope this letter finds you motivated, brave, and deeply connected to those around you. (And yes, this one IS a fundraising letter!) Many of you have read our letters before, and know that words come easy to us, at least in print. Not this time. We started this letter seven times because, like so many of you, we have been overcome by the realization of how truly divided we are as a country.
But at First Teacher, we do not believe in dividing, we believe in multiplying. Thanks to you and your support over the last three years, we have grown in every area:
There are 10 times as many First Teacher families
There are 3 times as many First Teacher sites
There are 4 times as many individual supporters
There is 1 comprehensive evaluation plan! In 2017, we will prove in no uncertain terms that First Teacher families have the necessary tools to prepare their children for success in kindergarten and beyond. (It didn’t work to multiply times 0, the number of comprehensive evaluation plans we had before this year!)
You, our beloved builders and believers, when each one of you stepped up to take on the collective work and responsibility of building First Teacher, you took a stand in support of families that you may not know or may not live near. You declared that privilege or lack of is not an acceptable excuse for fatal educational disparity, and you chose to share your resources.
Today, we write to boldly ask you to continue sharing your resources with our First Teacher community, and, if you are able, to multiply your investment so that we can reach our goal of $15,000. Please consider a monthly donation to ensure that all parents and caregivers have the tools and support necessary to prepare their children for success in kindergarten and beyond. To give online, please click here. Your investment will help us:
Facilitate 2 weeks of Family Play Week in July
Ensure all First Teacher parent leaders are building their own capacity to lead.
Welcome 35+ new families into the First Teacher movement
It would not be fair to ask you to share more of your resources with us if we did not do the same in our community. To that end, we have decided to do something that is both risky and right. To multiply the impact of your investment, we ask you to consider investing in two of our partners in the neighborhood and from the neighborhood; both are transformative organizations working with powerful families in Roxbury, Dorchester, and beyond. They are founded by fearless Black leaders in predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods. This distinction matters.
Vital Village is a network of residents and agencies committed to maximizing child, family, and community wellbeing. This is a growing, thriving web of empowered people tackling issues in their own neighborhoods. Let’s be part of the village. (To give online to Vital Village, click here and write “Vital Village” in the comments section.)
Fathers Uplift supports fathers in overcoming barriers so they can be positively and sustainably engaged in their children’s lives. Fathers Uplift is currently running a capital campaign to build Boston’s first men’s family shelter. Let’s support the critical engagement of fathers in every neighborhood. (To give online to Fathers Uplift, click here.)
Never has the phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall” been more apt. Thank you for multiplying our impact by standing with us and our partners.
And as always, thank you for believing that every child has the right to be prepared for school and that every parent or caregiver has the power to help them do so.
With love, respect, and gratitude,
Shantae and Dinah
Co-Founders of First Teacher